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Locke, Hughes and Mesterova Earn Athlete of the Year Honors

May 2, 2006

Los Angeles, CA (May 2) - The annual Loyola Marymount University Athletics' Awards Banquet was transformed into a new event by the Student-Athlete Advisory Committee and the results were impressive. The first-annual Iggy Award Show was held at the Four-Points Sheraton LAX on Wednesday, April 26 and three Lions took home the top honor of Athlete of the Year in front of more than 420 student-athletes, staff, coaches, donors and parents in an evening structured like the national award shows.

The annual LMU Male Athlete of the Year was men's golf freshman Brian Locke, who led the Lions to their first ever West Coast Conference Championship. Locke is the first freshman on record to earn the department's Athlete of the Year. For the Female Athlete of the Year honor, it was shared by women's tennis sophomore Pavla Mesterova and women's volleyball sophomore Heather Hughes.

Locke led the Lions with a final round and course record 64 in the WCC Championships to win the WCC individual title and help the team to the program's first-ever team title. Locke earned WCC Player of the Year and Freshman of the Year honors and is ranked in the top75 nationally as an individual. The Lions will play in their first ever NCAA Regional on May 18-20.

As for Mesterova, she came in and challenged at the No. 1 spot as the top player in the WCC. Ranked 87th in the nation, Mesterova led the Lions to a second place finish in the WCC championships with a win over ranked San Diego in the semifinals. She finished the season with a record of 25-10, the ninth best in the 30-year history of LMU tennis.

Hughes led the women's volleyball team to their 10th overall and third consecutive trip to the NCAA tournament. The Lions finished 19-11 overall with Hughes earning first-team All-WCC honors. The sophomore did a little bit of everything for the Lions, serving as one of the Lions' two setters and playing opposite the setter throughout the season. She finished WCC play ranking eighth in assists per game with 6.66. Hughes was the only player in the conference to record a statistical triple-double, and she did it five times - all in WCC play. She was named WCC Player of the Week on October 31.

The Iggy Award for Athlete of the Year is selected from each of LMU's 21 varsity program's Player of the Year nominees. The individual Player of the Year selections from the 21 programs were, for the female programs, junior Ashlee Dunlap (baskeball), junior Katie Hicks (swimming), freshman Kendra Jones (cheer), sophomore Laura Mickelson (cross country and track), sophomore Tiffany Pagano (softball), sophomore Christine Robinson (water polo), Lori Sims (soccer), senior Elizabeth Stewart (rowing). And for the men's programs, the nominees were sophomore Lino Almeida (cross country and track), senior Warren Anderson (crew), freshman Nathan Ilejay (cheer), senior Endre Rex-Kiss (water polo), sophomore Reyniere Roxas (tennis), junior Brandon Worthy (basketball), junior Junior Ybarra (soccer) and from baseball co-nominees Brad Meyers and Erik Johnson.

Added to the program were new awards, including the Iggy Award for Most Improved Athlete of the Year, Freshman of the Year, Newcomer of the Year, Student-Athlete Pride Award and the Student-Athlete Community Service Award. The new awards made it a busy night for both Locke and Mesterova, as they took home Freshman of the Year and Newcomer of the Year honors, respectively.

The Iggy Award for Most Improved went to women's basketball junior Amanda Patton. The Pride Award went to senior Jevay Grooms of women's basketball while the Community Service honor went to Allison Metrovich of women's rowing.

The Iggy Award Winners:
Female Student-Athlete of the Year: Pavla Mesterova, Women's Tennis and Heather Hughes, Women's Volleyball
Male Student-Athlete of the Year: Brian Locke, Men's Golf
Most Improved: Amanda Patton, Women's Basketball
Pride Award: Jevay Grooms, Women's Basketball
Community Service: Allison Mitrovich, Women's Rowing
Freshman of the Year: Brian Locke, Men's Golf
Newcomer of the Year: Pavla Mesterova, Women's Tennis